Dairy heat stress road show travels again

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The Dairy Heat Stress Road Show was a big hit two years ago and the road show will travel again in the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014 bringing new answers to the problem of heat stress in dairy cows.

Dr. Todd Bilby, Dairy Technical Services Manager with Merck Animal Health, said heat stress on dairies not only affects cow comfort, but also lowers milk production and fertility, which costs the dairy industry millions of dollars annually.

Surveys conducted of participants in the last Dairy Heat Stress Road Show showed that dairy heat stress costs dairy operators over $81 per cow per year. Producers at a road show event also reported that by attending they estimated that implementing the strategies they learned, their dairy operation could save over $40 per cow, per year.

“The Dairy Heat Stress Road Show, financed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in collaboration with several universities, is a series of educational programs that will travel to four states and Puerto Rico,” Bilby said. “The effort’s purpose is to teach producers how to overcome some of the negative effects of heat stress by implementing strategies such as nutritional changes, hormonal treatments and facility improvement.”

All the sessions will run from 10 a.m.-­‐ 2:45 p.m. with lunch provided.

The dates and locations this fall, 2013 will be:

  • Dec. 3, County Extension Office, 458 Highway 98 North, Okeechobee, Fla.
  • Dec. 5, Camuy, Puerto Rico, to be delivered in English and Spanish

The 2014 dates and locations are:

  • April 1, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Stephenville, Texas
  • April 2, Hilton Garden Inn, East Elwood St., Phoenix, Ariz.
  • April 4, Consumer Education Pavilion, Vet Medicine Center, Tulare, Calif.

Topics and speakers include: Nutritional Additives and Facility Modifications to Reduce Heat Stress, Dr. Robert Collier, Professor, University of Arizona; Should We Cool Dry Cows?, Dr. Geoffrey Dahl, Professor and Head of Department, University of Florida; and Current and Future Opportunities to Reduce the Impact of Heat Stress, Dr. Pete Hansen, Distinguished Professor, University of Florida. Dr. Bilby will speak on Tools and Technologies to Assess Heat Stress on Commercial Dairies.

Along with on-­‐site instruction, the road show will provide the latest research technology, software tools and proceedings in English or Spanish at each program.

The road show is free and open to the public, Bilby said.

Learn more about the Dairy Heat Stress Road Show, managing heat stress in dairy cattle or the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Research and Education initiative by contacting Dr. Todd Bilby at todd.bilby@merck.com.



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